British wrestling is on the agenda once again, and this time around we’re making a return journey to the adults only world of Progress. We’ve now reached Chapter Five, a show paraphrased after one of my favourite AC/DC songs: For Those About to Fight, We Salute You.
As always with these things we’ll start off with disc one…..
The show opener featured singles action as Stixx went up against Danny Garnell.
The slow and methodical approach was the order of the day in this one. It started off with some solid chain wrestling, and although there were a couple of slightly dodgy moments both guys did pretty well, especially Stixx with his power moves.
The end came when Garnell finally took his man with a tornado DDT at the second time of asking for the pin.
Then it was on to the second quarter-final of the Natural Progression tournament as Lord Jonathon Windsor took on Mike Hitchman.
The debuting Windsor came into this match wearing an elaborate House of Lords-type robe. That was like a red rag to a bull for the somewhat vocal Progress fans as they proceeded to taunt him during the opening stages.
Hitchman dominated the early going with some impressive power moves, but if I’m to be completely honest Windsor looked a little green around the gills during these exchanges. Thankfully as the match went on he seemed to gain more confidence, and his performance improved greatly.
Later on Hitchman tried to take his man down with his favoured package piledriver. But as with his previous attempts Windsor managed to avoid the move, and moments later he countered Hitchman’s sunset flip attempt with a sit down roll up for the winning pin.
The final match of disc one saw former champion Nathan Cruz taking on Rampage Brown.
Before the match began Cruz announced that he’d employed a bodyguard, Fug, in order to keep his rival Marty Scurll away from the ring.
This particular match came about because Cruz didn’t get an immediate re-match with new champion El Ligero. A deal was struck so they could choose each other’s opponent for this show, with Ligero choosing the debuting Brown.
Rampage Brown is one of those guys I’ve heard a great deal about. This was the first time I’d seen him in action, and he impressed the hell out of me. Early on he took Cruz down with an array of power moves before seamlessly transitioning into a crossface attempt which Cruz barely managed to escape from.
Cruz’s cunning and speed brought him back into the match, and from there these two put on some great sequences, particularly when they were beating the hell out of each other while they were on their knees.
Moments later Brown took Cruz down with a falcon arrow, but just as the referee was about to slap the mat for a third time Brown stopped him so he could inflict further punishment. This somewhat rash move proved to be his undoing, because a short time later Cruz countered a suplex attempt with a roll up and a handful of tights for the winning pin.
Disc two began with the second part of the challenge as El Ligero defended the Progress title against Cruz’s chosen challenger, Dave Mastiff.
This was your typical speed versus power battle. It began with Ligero dropkicking Mastiff out of the ring, and although he quickly followed up with a suicide dive the big man soon took control. Mastiff began to take Ligero down with a succession of power moves. Ligero kept coming back as he kept trying to use his guillotine choke variation.
At one point it looked like the masked man was going to get the win when he finally managed to choke out his man at ringside. But while Ligero was happy to take the count out win Mastiff spoiled his plans when he just managed to beat the count.
The big man began to up his game once again with some more power moves, but once again Ligero went for his choke. Mastiff held out for as long as he could, but when his arm dropped for the third time the referee stepped in to give Ligero the title retaining submission win.
Then it was on to R.J. Singh’s open challenge. As always the Bollywood star was accompanied by his entourage as he faced the challenge of his own Bhangra Knights partner Darrell Allen.
Before the match began Singh took to the microphone to question his partner’s decision in answering his challenge, with Allen replying that it was time to see if Singh really was king.
When the match finally began it proved to be pretty damn good. It was filled with an absolute ton of great action as both men went at it full tilt, move for move and counter for counter. Things got even better when Singh’s buddies were banished from ringside after some failed interference, making the contest a far more even affair.
At one point the match gave a nod to a certain retirement match as Singh said “I’m sorry, I love you” before he attempted a Superkick. But as he went for the move Allen managed to take him down. A few moments later Singh took control as his buddies came back on stage. Singh went for the Ethnic Submission, which Allen quickly countered with a roll up and pin.
Afterwards Singh extended the hand of friendship, but at the insistence of the crowd they hugged it out instead. It was then that Singh’s cohorts attacked Allen, but when Singh tried to stop them they slapped him in the face.
A quickly recovered Allen then super kicked the guy in the back of the head before he joined Singh in taking him down with the Bhangra buster. They then went to confront Singh’s director, who decided to run for cover rather than take any punishment. The Knights then had a brief confrontation with the London Riots as they made their way backstage.
The main event featured tag team action as the aforementioned London Riots team of Rob Lynch and James Davies faced the Leaders of the New School, Marty Scurll and Zack Sabre Junior.
Now this was good, really good. In fact it’s probably the best tag match this company has put on. It began with Scurll and Sabre taking the Riots down with a variety of moves, but it wasn’t long before Sabre was used as a human punching bag as Davies and Lynch tried to take him apart.
The Riots’ offence looked absolutely brutal at times, and for nearly ten minutes they hit Sabre with everything except the kitchen sink. Eventually Sabre managed to escape further punishment when he bloodied Lynch’s nose with a shining wizard. This gave him the chance to get the hot tag to Scurll, signalling the start of the all hell breaking loose moment as it this match became a proverbial Texas Tornado affair.
The action got even better during this period as it became a competition between rough-housing and high-speed finesse. There were numerous doubling up moves from both teams, but eventually something had to give. That was Sabre as the Riots got their hands on him and took him down with a double powerbomb for the winning pin.
Disc two is where you’ll find extras. There’s a few interviews, Jim Smallman’s always hilarious pre-show introductions, a post-match tribute to messrs Scurll and Sabre, and part one of a new series based on the trouble Mr. Smallman has getting into the ring.
In conclusion – well, I have to say it, but they’ve gone and done it again.
Progress Chapter Five is another worthy addition to their ever-growing list of great shows. From top to bottom, for the most part, it’s filled with tremendous in-ring action. But as is the way with Mr. Smallman and his crew everything else here is just as great, from the commentary to the atmosphere of the show to the presentation.
As for my match of the night no-prize I was going to give it to Nathan Cruz and Rampage Brown until the London Rights and the Leaders of the New School rocked up with their tremendous main event.
So with all of that out of the way I’m going to heap further praise upon this show by giving it the big thumbs up.
With thanks to the powers that be for supplying a copy of this release. Progress Chapter Five: For Those About to Fight, We Salute You is available to buy online at www.progresswrestling.com.
By day I’m an unemployed retail worker, and at weekends I volunteer at a local museum, but by night I’m the author of The Two Sheds Review, Britain’s longest running professional wrestling and mixed martial arts blog. Visit my site at www.twoshedsreview.vze.com. It’s been online in one form or another since June 2000!